The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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after hearing, patiently, argument on both sides, were discharged. The question of jurisdiction was argued by Governor Graham. Judge Brooks' action did much to re-kindle the affection of the people towards the National Government. For his course in this unhappy event, on December 14, 1870, a resolution was passed, "impeaching the Governor, W. W. Holden, of high crimes and misdemeanors;" on December 22, the Senate was organized as a court, and sat for forty days,--Governor Graham being the first counsel on the part of the Managers. Holden was found guilty, was "deposed from office and disqualified to hold any office of profit or trust in the State." The first State to rid herself of a Governor in this way.

        In 1867, Governor Graham was selected by its munificent donor, one of the Trustees to distribute the princely charity of George Peabody, for educational purposes.

        Governor Graham, although selected as one of the almoners of the Peabody educational fund, had always been the constant and devoted friend of education. Especially was he unremitting in his efforts in favor of the University. He attended all its commencements, and was active in its behalf.

        Some time after this he received an additional testimonial of the high esteem in which he was held by States, as well as by individuals. The boundary line between Maryland and Virginia, had been undefined, and he was selected by Virginia as one of the arbitrators. Several meetings took place between him and the arbitrator selected by Maryland, but the matter was unsettled at the date of his death.

        A meeting of the boundary commissioners had been appointed to take place at Saratoga Springs in New York, in August, 1875. From his constant and severe labors at the bar, his friends felt that he was overtaxing his strength. Symptoms developed themselves showing a disease of the heart, and created serious apprehensions. He went to Saratoga accompanied by Mrs. Graham and his youngest son. For several days he appeared in his usual health, but he was attacked with great severity at night, and all that science and affection could suggest, proved unavailing, He expired on August 11, 1875.

        The intelligence of his death created a profound sensation throughout the country. His remains were borne in sorrow to his home at Hillsboro. Meetings of the bar, of States, of political opponents as well as friends in Maryland, Virginia, Washington City, and elsewhere, were held, to express their great estimate of the illustrious dead, and the deep regret at his loss.

        His knowledge of men and books was deep and varied. Whatever he professed to know he knew thoroughly, and what he wished to know, he rapidly acquired and exhausted. In the character of his mind he was more solid than showy. His imagination never run riot with his judgment. In his addresses or speeches, one may look in vain for any gay and gorgeous flowers of literature scattered around his path, but his power lay in solid argument and in the broad and plain road of reason. He possessed but little of that power which is often indulged in by an impassioned speaker and which passes like an electric shock, to the minds of his hearers, bearing them along in the very torrent, tempest, and whirlwind of passion. He rather let discretion be his tutor, and he never overstepped the modesty of nature, in his addresses. This moral and mental equilibrium, was doubtless attributable to the Scotch-Irish blood that he inherited. As an orator, he resembled rather the massive solid Doric column, with but little or no Corinthian ornament.

        Such was William A. Graham.

        We have now endeavored to trace the career of Governor Graham from his cradle to his grave. Most of our people have seen, known, and admired him. In person he was of a tall and commanding presence,--as Mr. McGehee expresses it, "the ideal of the patrician." His
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